Here at Nova Health, we love Father’s Day—and not just for the backyard barbecues and the fun of shopping for ties and grill accessories. We love Father’s Day because we all have men in our lives who play a critical role in our happiness. Fathers, brothers, sons, grandfathers, uncles, and friends—everyone who has helped to raise a child, serve as a mentor, or be a positive influence deserves to be recognized this Father’s Day and every day. Since we believe the health and wellness of our fathers and friends is critical, this Father’s Day, we challenge all men to understand the importance of prostate health and learn when to obtain a prostate cancer screening—because we want you all to be healthy and happy and part of our lives this year and every year.
Prostate Cancer Risks for Men
All men are at risk of developing prostate cancer, though only 13 percent will develop the disease in their lifetime. While the most common risk factor for prostate cancer is age, African-American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer are at a higher risk.
Recommended Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines
Cancer that is identified early may be easier to treat. For this reason, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men discuss their risk factors with their physician and consider obtaining a prostate cancer screening based on the following intervals:
- At age 40 for those identified as highest risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer before age 65).
- At age 45 for those identified as high risk (African American men and those with a first-degree relative diagnosed before age 65).
- At age 50 for those identified as average risk who are expected to live at least ten more years.
Prostate Cancer Screening Procedures
While there currently is no standard prostate cancer screening test, your doctor may recommend one of the following common screening procedures:
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) – Your doctor will determine the size of the prostate and feel for bumps, soft or hard spots, or other abnormalities and examine the lower colon/rectum wall.
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test – While this test may help identify cancer, it can also identify an enlarged prostate (BPH) or other prostate problems. If your PSA test reflects abnormal results, your doctor may recommend a biopsy, MRI, or ultrasound.
This Father’s Day, if you are an adult male, regardless of whether you have an average or high risk of prostate cancer, give yourself the gift of good health. Make a promise to yourself to discuss your risks with your doctor when the time is appropriate. That way, you can enjoy countless Father’s Day celebrations (in your honor) for years to come.